As the owner of a hybrid vehicle, I share Phyllis Terry’s opinion regarding the inequity of the surcharge on hybrid and electric vehicles and disagree with Mark Floyd that it is a fair user fee. There are a number of other points to consider and should have been taken into account by the brain trust that meets at the Statehouse every January.
In terms of fairness, there are far more commercial vehicles than hybrid or electric cars in the state, yet the surcharge for them is half of what I will pay for my hybrid and they have far more impact on the wear and tear of our highways. The range of most all electric cars pretty well limits them for driving on local streets rather than long-distance highway travel. There are many gas vehicles that get mileage that is close to that of some models of hybrids, and the fuel efficiency on many vehicles is rising so the decrease in tax revenue will likely continue.
So, yes, I believe that the owners of hybrids and all electrics are being penalized for conserving gas and not contributing as much to Valley air pollution.
Pete Friedman, Boise